Marlin Model 39

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by The Freeholder, Aug 18, 2012.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. The Freeholder

    The Freeholder Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2004
    Messages:
    372
    Location:
    North Carolina
    I just acquired a Marlin Model 39, sn S8###. Googling around for a mfg. date, I found information that the gun was made before 1932, and that it is not rated for "high velocity" ammunition. Having never thought of .22 rimfire as high velocity, I kept on looking.

    Not much out there. Some opinions are that it would be safe to fire with modern subsonic .22 LR. Some say .22 short. Others call BS, but have no other info. The bolt seems to be the weak point, so I assume it's the recoil impulse that causes the damage, not pressure?

    So, 2 questions. First, ideas on ammo what would be safe to shoot in the gun? I absolutely don't want to damage it. Second, if I could get a newer bolt from a 39 with and "HS" sn, would it then be safe to shoot high velocity ammo? Obviously I'll keep the old bolt as this seems to be a collector gun.

    Thanks for any help.
     
  2. Edarnold

    Edarnold Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    Messages:
    640
    Location:
    Northern Illinois
    Your gun should be safe with standard velocity .22 Long Rifle ammo. Just avoid any ammo labeled as 'high-velocity, hyper-velocity, "etc. Fitting a later manufacture bolt, assuming it would even fit, will not change the other design and material changes that made the later guns safe for the higher-pressures of the high-velocity ammo.
    In brief, either shoot the ammunition the gun was designed for, or sell it and buy a more modern rifle.
    IMHO
     
  3. 76shuvlinoff

    76shuvlinoff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    Messages:
    2,317
    Location:
    Michigan
    Standard velocity is probably more accurate anyhow.....

    ....and you need to post a pic of that rifle. :cool:
     
  4. Rollis R. Karvellis

    Rollis R. Karvellis Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2007
    Messages:
    886
    Location:
    JAX, FLA.
  5. The Freeholder

    The Freeholder Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2004
    Messages:
    372
    Location:
    North Carolina
    So what is considered standard velocity for a .22? I have subsonic stuff that is 700-ish fps up to some stuff that is almost 1400 fps. I've seen a number of 1000 fps being considered standard. If memory serves that's around what the cheap milk cartoon stuff is.

    I'll try to get you a pic or two tomorrow.
     
  6. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Messages:
    59,076
    Location:
    Eastern KS
    Both the bolt, lever, lever screw, and receiver threads work in concert to lock the action shut.

    The old lever & old screw is just as old as the old bolt & reciever, and most likely is the weakest link in the chain.

    rc
     
  7. dfariswheel

    dfariswheel Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    6,415
    Standard velocity ammo is usually labeled as standard velocity or often "Target" ammo.

    The 39 models with an "S" prefix were noted for having superior workmanship and finish.
     
  8. The Freeholder

    The Freeholder Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2004
    Messages:
    372
    Location:
    North Carolina
    First, I'd like to thank everyone for the information. I honestly didn't know what I was getting into buying this particular gun, but I tend to have a soft spot for old .22s that need a home.

    And now, the pictures:

    2012-08-21_18-58-29_323.jpg

    2012-08-21_18-59-22_438.jpg

    2012-08-21_19-00-08_961.jpg

    For a gun of it's age, I think it's in pretty good shape. No rust pitting, crown is good, wood is good. Action and trigger work as they should, thought the trigger is a bit on the heavy side. Haven't tried to take it down just yet.

    I think this gun may have originally been in the white; as you can see from the closeup of the receiver, there is no sign of color case hardening. The barrel also shows no sign of bluing anywhere. The gun has a nice patina, slightly brown (pics don't really show it--cell phone camera). I think the best move, both from value and honoring the gun perspectives, is to just oil it down and leave it be.
     
  9. dfariswheel

    dfariswheel Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    6,415
    It would have been blued and color case hardened.
    Color casing is delicate, wear and sunlight can erase it over time, and bluing tends to turn brown with wear and age.
    Yours just looks like a well-used early 20's rifle with honestly degraded finish that's turned brown.

    I agree..... oil it and shoot it.
     
  10. The Freeholder

    The Freeholder Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2004
    Messages:
    372
    Location:
    North Carolina
    I would have expected some signs of the color or blue to have remained, but I guess at that age, things get different. I wish this gun could talk. I'd love to hear about the previous owners, what it's done and where it's been. Alas, none of that info remains.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice